5 Causes For Cats Not Sleeping at Night and Ways to Help
A perfect pillow, fresh sheets, and a cat that refuses to go to sleep.
Sleep is equally important for us and our pets, and when our cats refuse to sleep through the night, it raises tensions.
What to do if your cat isn’t sleeping at night
As annoying as the situation is, you shouldn’t get upset with your cat for not sleeping at night because there is a long list of potential causes for their restlessness.
And as pet owners, we should remember that punishment and negative reinforcement won’t help your cat’s health or remedy the problem. Instead, we should start by diagnosing the issue.
My cat suddenly won’t sleep at night
Negative behaviours, especially new or unusual, call for a trip to the vet. Your cat’s unusual bursts of energy through the night could be caused by something as simple as a new lounge or something more serious like an underlying illness.
Common reasons cats don’t sleep at night and how to help
Cats are nocturnal
Cats are genetically nocturnal, and in the wild, they would hunt and play through the night. Because of that, it can be hard for them to adjust to human-friendly routines.
You can make it easier for your cat to adjust to your routine by:
Keeping your own schedule consistent where possible
Feeding it at regular times each day
Minimising your nighttime activities and resting when you expect your cat to
Avoiding exercising and playing with your cat soon before bed
Cats are energetic and don’t like to be bored
Because cats are energetic creatures, they will need to spend their energy throughout the day before it’s time for bed to avoid being restless.
Knowing that you can’t be home playing with your cat all day, you can provide ways for them to entertain themselves while you’re out like:
Setting up a scratch post
Investing in a new toy now and then or considering puzzle toys
Keeping meals exciting with variations or new foods occasionally (Contact us for a check-up to determine which meals are suitable for your pet).
Cats need time to adjust to change
Changes in your cat’s home or surroundings can affect its behaviour by causing excitement, stress and anxiousness. Feelings like these can be challenging for both young and old cats to process and lead to restlessness throughout the day and night.
Some examples of changes that can emotionally affect your cat include:
A new addition to the household (human or animal)
New neighbours or pets next door
A change in scenery, moving home or a recent adventure
Something new in their homes like a new lounge or an exciting plant
They feel uncomfortable or unwell
Unique or new behaviour in your pet can indicate a new underlying illness. Unusually timed energy can be a sign of illness and may be accompanied by symptoms like:
Lethargy or unusual behaviour at other times
Disinterest in favourite activities and foods
Vomiting and diarrhoea
Frequent or increased regurgitation
Should you take your cat to the vet if it won’t sleep at night?
You should always contact your vet if your pet exhibits new or unusual behaviour. Your restless cat could be experiencing pain or emotional stress and an appointment with your vet is the first step to helping them get better.